Recombinant Human Growth Hormone in the Treatment of Patients With Cystic Fibrosis
Context: Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) improves growth in patients with growth hormone deficiency or idiopathic short stature. Its role in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) is unclear.
Objective: To review the effectiveness of rhGH in the treatment of patients with CF.
Methods: Medline and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched from the earliest date through April 2010. Randomized controlled trials, observational studies, systematic reviews/meta-analyses, or case reports were included if rhGH therapy was administered to patients with CF and data on prespecified harms, intermediate outcomes, or final health outcomes were reported. When applicable, end points were pooled by using a random-effects model. The overall body of evidence was graded for each outcome as insufficient, low, moderate, or high.
Results: Ten unique controlled trials (n = 312) and 8 observational studies (n = 58) were included. On quantitative synthesis of controlled trials, several markers of pulmonary function, anthropometrics, and bone mineralization were significantly improved versus control. Results of single-arm observational studies for the aforementioned outcomes were generally supportive of findings in clinical trials. There is insufficient evidence to determine the effect of rhGH on intravenous antibiotic use during therapy, pulmonary exacerbations, health-related quality-of-life, bone consequences, or total mortality, but moderate evidence suggests that rhGH therapy reduces the rate of hospitalization versus control.
Conclusions: rhGH improved almost all intermediate measures of pulmonary function, height, and weight in patients with CF. Improvements in bone mineral content are also promising. However, with the exception of hospitalizations, the benefits on final health outcomes cannot be directly determined at this time.
- Accepted August 16, 2010.
- Copyright © 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics